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Jim Winsor's Out & About: Why I mentioned Balboa Park water fight in my column

Last week I made a brief mention in my column about a Balboa Park water fight event that I received an invite to on Facebook. It looked interesting to me, being flash mob-like in nature, encouraging participants to dress scantily, and happening in a locale other than our usual haunts here in the gayborhood.

Plus, more than 900 people on the Tuesday before the event had indicated they were "Going." Even assuming only a fraction of those people actually showed up, that still meant that it was going to be a fairly major event on the nightlife calendar for that week.

So naturally I decided to include the event as an item in my Out & About weekly nightlife column. Indeed, given the circumstances, it would have been akin to a dereliction of duty for me not to report on this event.

Anyways, I ended that secondary item in my column by noting that I thought event was going to be "interesting." Boy, did that turn out to be an accurate prediction.

Most of you reading here today are probably already aware of the aftermath. According to police, about 300 to 400 people actually did show up, meeting at the scenic Lily Pond in front of the botanical gardens, because the Natural History Museum fountain was out of order. Last year organizers organized a water fight near that fountain, and it went off without a hitch.

This event did not have a city permit. This is not exactly unusual; most flash mobs of this nature lack such a permit, and the monthly Critical Mass rides, which coincidentally also gather at this same Balboa Park fountain, also notoriously lack any sort of permit.

This event did not seem to have been a major public safety concern to the police, however, who not only knew of the event beforehand (from Facebook? a Reader article? my column? who knows) but discussed it during their regular pre-shift lineup that night. And they decided to simply let the event happen. Apparently they felt this event was just a Critical Mass with squirt guns, which since it wasn't going to block traffic didn't even require a police escort.

I point this out because some people (including at least one San Diego mayoral candidate) seem to think that I showed "poor judgment" in reporting on this event beforehand. Never mind that this event had been publicized for more than a month before my little item was every published. Some People seem to think I should have known something bad was going to happen at this event. In other words, they seem to think I should possess powers of prognostication exceeding that of the San Diego Police Department, despite having not quite the man-years of expertise in public safety matters as they do.

But moving on. There was damage to the Lily Pond because of this event, to the tune of $10,000. I can't really say how it happened because I was not there. But from what I've been able to glean from news accounts, a regulator on a drainage pipe was broken, causing the water in the pond to drain excessively. Many plants surrounding it were trampled as well. Thankfully, all of the fish and turtles survived.

A couple of major donations funds have been established to restore the pond. An official one by Balboa Park can be found here, and another private one here. The latter of fund has raised just over $6,000 as of the time I am writing this.

And this Sunday, the San Diego Kings Club will be donating a portion of their proceeds towards pond repair at their Drag It Out for Balboa Park's Reflecting Pool drag show at Numbers this Sunday. Cover charge is only $4. The show kicks off at 8 pm, and is hosted by Regina Stiles.

Carnival at Bourbon Street

This Friday, Bourbon Street will be transformed into a playground of games, food and snack-able delights at the annual Carnival, a benefit for Being Alive:

"This fun event will include everything that customers might remember from attending carnivals and circuses in their childhood - with a grown-up twist. The fabulous Tori Heart will serve as the evening's host, and guests will be able to enjoy liquor-infused snow cones, a dunk tank, games, cotton candy, popcorn, face painting, clowns, stilt walkers, hot dogs, prizes, and more fun starting at 9 pm.

While there is never a cover charge at Bourbon Street, donations for games and treats will benefit Being Alive, a local organization that works to enrich and enhance the quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS."

Guys Like Us Pool Party II

There is another big benefit event on Saturday at noon, with the second summer installment of the Guys Like Us Pool Party. The first one back in July attracted over 300 boys, and this one promises to be even bigger.

It will take place at the fabulous home of Bourbon Street owner Michael Weiss and Castin Li, who have once again generously offered to host the party this year. Natasha Laquisha will be the Mistress of Ceremonies, with music by DJ Marcel Hetu, and a swimsuit fashion show collaboration between Luigi Vera and Mankind.

Tickets are $20 in advance, or $25 at the door, with proceeds to benefit GLU's AIDS Walk team this year. This covers all food and drink; the event is for those 21 and older.

Military Madness at Spin Night Club

Remember when I told you Spin was back on a monthly basis? Well, it begins this Saturday with Military Madness Night, brought to you by Steve Pena, Brent Everett, and Michael Mack.

The club will be decked out in military theme, and camo attire is encouraged. There's free cover for service members before midnight, plus $5 tall Long Islands all night long. DJ Ryan C will play the opening set, followed by DJ Chris Braga, DJ Marcel Hetu, and DJ Will Z. And because it's Spin ... we get after hours until 4 am!

Houmann's Birthday Celebration

Here's another pool party, this one on Monday. Popular Hillcrest socialite Houmann Kargar is having an daytime birthday party at the Lafayette Hotel, from noon to 6 pm.

Cover is only $3 (or free with a Facebook check in). Highlights include music by DJ Junior the DiscoPunk, Hors D’oeuvres provided by the Lafayette Hotel, a birthday cake provided by D Bar San Diego, and a Champagne ”Bubble Bar” hosted by Houman. Which means this too is a 21+ event.

The 1st Ever LGBT Day at The Del Mar Races

As I reported earlier, this coming Wednesday will be the 1st Ever LGBT Day at The Del Mar Races. And I have a couple of important updates to mention.

One, we will have our own seating section at the racetrack. For this reason, it is very important for everyone planning on going to RSVP on Facebook, because they will only reserve as many seat as we say are coming.

And two, we have a bus! For only $24 bucks you can ride to the races in comfort and style in our very own party bus. The bus will leave from Babycakes at 2 pm, and depart Del Mar at 8:20 pm sharp. You can purchase your tickets here.

Last week's events

Check out SDPIX for all the new albums from last week, including photos from Bourbon Street, the Range, Babycakes, Brass Rail, Lips #1 Fifth Avenue, Urban Mo's, and this years Hillcrest CityFest. Happy viewing!